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6 Tips for having a conversation with your child about cyberbullying

As Anti-Bullying Week comes to a close it is important to continue the conversations and messages that were highlighted during the week. Here are our 6 top tips for starting a conversation with your child about cyberbullying.

Discussing cyberbullying with your child, can seem like a daunting task sometimes but it is the best way to support your child and help them to be open and responsible about their time online. 

  1. Know how to start the conversation 
    It’s important to involve yourself in your child’s online life and a simple and effective way  to this is by talking to them about their life online.  Try to maintain an open dialogue with your child and find opportunities to talk to them about what they love to do online. Parents can help children access the amazing resources the internet has to offer whilst keeping them safe online at the same time.
    Asking your child about what they want to do online and the sites they like to use is a great way to start a conversation about wider online issues. Our conversation starters can help you to have this conversation. 
  2. Let them talk
    Give them the space to share what they want to in their way and listen. Try to avoid the temptation to interrupt because you know what’s going on, prompt if necessary but let them do most of the talking.
  3. Don’t deny access to technology
    When we speak to young people about barriers to getting help, they often share that they are worried that their device may be taken away from them if they seek help from an adult or parent. Reassure them that this won’t happen if they speak up about something that has been worrying them online.
  4. Let them know if you plan to talk to their school 
    If your child discloses that they have been cyberbullied and it is important to involve their school, communicate this to your child. Being honest about the next steps you are going to take will make you child more likely to come to you with other issues they may face.
    Schools play a vital role in the resolution of abusive online behaviours. They have a plethora of effective tools such as the Enable anti-bullying toolkit. Schools have anti-bullying and behavioural policies in place in order to provide a duty of care to all who attend. As such, they will want to know about any incidences that could potentially affect a child’s wellbeing. Take the evidence of bullying and any additional details about the context of the situation and length of time it has been going on for. It is helpful to discuss this with your child and you may want to speak to the school together.
  5. Let them know that you are always available to talk
    Leave the conversation open so that your child knows they can always come back to you if they need help. Having an open and honest conversation means they it can be revisited when you or they need it to be.
  6. Know what to do next 
    Our blog has advice for parents and carers concerned about cyberbullying and practical tips for how they can support their child. The Childnet website also contains a hot topic about Cyberbullying with tip to help parents